Raba Rides is a ride-sharing platform which helps drivers and passengers travelling along the same route commute together in a convenient, reliable, and affordable way. Responding to the daily stress of navigating Greater Accra’s perennial traffic congestion and delays, Raba Rides’ carpooling solution allows private car and bus owners to leverage technology and shared resources to address professionals’ and blue-workers’ transportation needs while reducing the number of cars on the roads of Accra.
The company launched its solution in 2018 and officially registered as a women-owned business with the UK DFID-funded SheTrades Commonwealth in 2019. As demand for its services grows, Founder and CEO, Karen Gyan-Davies is exploring partnerships with bus operators for intra- and inter-city routes. Raba Rides hopes to expand its routes in 2020 and provide the same level of comfort and convenience to long distance travelers.
The SheTrades Commonwealth project has been critical to the Ghanaian company’s early growth. Through the programme’s capacity-building and business generation activities, Raba Rides managed to reach more women business owners and stakeholders in the West African transport and logistics community, access more suppliers – such as those who produce GPS tracking devices – and connect with potential investors.
Nigeria Com, which took place in Lagos from 9th to 10th September 2019, was Raba Rides’ first foray into a regional trade fair. At the trade show, Mrs. Gyan-Davies not only learned how software development could lead socioeconomic progress in Nigeria, but she also secured meetings with investors from Ingressive Capital and Telecomm Advisory Services. The trade show brought together a host of business leaders who want to bring low cost broadband connectivity and new digital services to West Africa — telecommunications services that are essential to the growth of Raba Rides.
Later in November, Raba Rides attended Africa Com in Cape Town, South Africa, as part of the SheTrades Commonwealth delegation. The event was the continent’s largest telco, media, and technology event. Through Africa Com. Mrs. Gyan-Davies gained a broader perspective of the African market as she learned that the ride-sharing solution that her team has developed for Ghana was in huge demand in other African countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Liberia, Botswana, and Tanzania. Additionally, through the show, Mrs Gyan-Davies’ solution captured the interest of PEafrinsights – a pipeline, insights, and transactions advisory firm that links innovative solutions to potential investors – and she subsequently secured a meeting with a representative of the company. Both parties are currently in talks about a potential collaboration.
2019 will end on a high-note for this fledgling transport business, with revenue projected above USD 3,500. Looking into 2020, Ms. Gyan-Davies and the Raba Rides team are excited to onboard new GPS devices for their vehicles, expand their reach beyond Greater Accra, and accommodate more riders in a sustainable manner that is kind to people, the planet, and everyone’s pockets.